Hours before the Lok Sabha was scheduled to discuss and pass the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill on Monday, the law ministry found itself unprepared to push the bill, forcing changes in the schedule of business in the Lower House.
The incident comes at a time when the government is racing against time to pass bills in the winter session after the washout of the last session.
The bill, to replace an ordinance, was scheduled as the second legislative item for passage. According to sources, law minister DV Sadananda Gowda rushed to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday and sought her permission to defer the bill as the government wanted to bring some amendments to it.
Sources added the law ministry officials realised at the last moment that the approval of the Prime Minister was still pending for some of the amendments even as the bill had been listed.
The arbitration and conciliation bill aims faster arbitration, expands the ambit for international arbitration and permits parties to choose to conduct proceedings within six months. The bill is aimed to address concerns of investors and foreign companies which often complain of slow judicial process.
To manage the situation, the discussion on “the drought situation in various parts of the country” was taken up before discussions on bills.